Naughty Lakshmi, flustered Gronk.
By The American Bazaar Staff
NEW YORK: It was a delicious, spontaneous moment, especially so, because it’s on Food Network: a naughty interplay of words, innuendo and humor between the dusky beauty, ex-wife of Salman Rushdie, chef Padma Lakshmi and the New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski known better as ‘Gronk’ and ‘Terminator’ to some.
The sedate looking Lakshmi, who when she smiles can set a room on fire, if she is not walking into one, was like a naughty co-ed vixen in the presence of the gentle giant Gronkowski, 25, who at 6’6’ and over 250 pounds looks ‘huge’ as the look on the group of contesting chefs on ‘Top Chef Boston’ said it all.
But it was obvious as a dialogue started between Lakshmi and Gronkowski, that she was throwing herself at him on national television and playing him totally off-balance at the same time, while he behaved like an awkward teenager struck witless in the presence of a glamorous personality.
The episode on the show was in honor of Gronkowksi, whose favorite food is sausages. Lakshmi started by flirting with him, asking him if she could call him Rob, instead of Gronk. She then followed it up by telling him, ‘You can call me honey’, to which a flustered Gronkowski immediately responded by calling her that endearing term.
Then came prime rib time: “I need a big sausage,” Gronkowski said. Lakshmi, looking demure and sexy standing by his side, demurred for a split second, before responding, with a ravishing smile: “Me too,” to which the contestants broke into surprised guffaws.
Gronkowski looked like he wished he had asked for a tub of ice cream instead in which he could drown in, and disappear from view. He responded lamely to Lakshmi, not exactly in the manner of a man who had scored a record 17 receiving touchdowns: ‘Honey, don’t embarrass me.”